Re: Sorry, kid

1

"I recommend you pursue avenues other than graduate school."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:02 PM
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Too many typos in his written work?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:05 PM
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None of the "I can wholeheartedly applaud [STUDENT'S] attendance and personal grooming," dodges?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:06 PM
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Nope. He's a lazy cheating cheater whose pants are on fire. (Job rec, not grad school, however.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:08 PM
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Student probably smelled funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:08 PM
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4: It's pretty scary that he'd ask you. Either he doesn't know enough to ask other profs or he knows other profs have bigger problems with him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:10 PM
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personal grooming

But the post clearly implies the student had lice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:11 PM
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"I cannot recommend [student] highly enough"


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:14 PM
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6: I didn't take the cheating incident into our personal interactions and start giving him the stink-eye. It happened and he dropped the course. I think the lack of stink-eye gave him the false impression that I would go to bat for him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:15 PM
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1: Who said anything about graduate school? It was for a server job at McDonalds.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:17 PM
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I think the lack of stink-eye gave him the false impression that I would go to bat for him.

What a maroon.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:17 PM
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Is this the same kid previously discussed?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:21 PM
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No, this kid doesn't drive me up the wall on an interpersonal level. I don't think I've mentioned him here before.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:35 PM
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He dropped out of your course because he got caught cheating, and yet he somehow thinks that you'd write him a recommendation? He clearly needs to be hit with a chair, as a pie in the face wouldn't be strong enough medicine.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 12:37 PM
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15

How did you phrase your rejection?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:00 PM
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"I'm going to be very busy and travelling and won't have computer access and you should therefore ask someone else."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:02 PM
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16: A bit of "It isn't you...it's me." With a dash of "I'll be washing my hair that evening."


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:07 PM
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16: Do you think he believed you? That he left your office, thinking, "It's too bad she's so busy, because she would have written me an awesome recommendation!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:17 PM
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4: The nice way to put that is "Efficient and result-oriented."


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:25 PM
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Not that I approve of being nice.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:26 PM
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"You'd be lucky to get him to work for you!"


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:32 PM
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The little dear
Has been working here
For a year,
No, almost two.
And you couldn't foresee
How glad we'd be
To send him to work for you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:47 PM
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OT to JP: Should your travel plans involve Route 28, you might want to look at a traffic report before you leave the office.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:51 PM
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"Doesn't dwell on past failures. Willing to put things behind him and move on."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 1:53 PM
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"Bold and enterprising. Will do whatever it takes to get things done."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:01 PM
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"'Excellent' doesn't begin to describe his performance."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:05 PM
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"Rule-breaking, outside-the-box thinker whose true abilities are poorly reflected in his exam grades."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:11 PM
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28

I once asked a former superviser if I could put her down as a reference, and she said "sure, that's no problem, but if anyone asks my opinion I'm going to tell them that you did good work substantively but overall were lazy and unproductive."

The funny part is that I still put her down as a reference; I didn't have a lot of other names I could use. I got the job I was applying for, so I'm guessing they didn't actually check all the references.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:13 PM
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29

It's probably worth noting that I wouldn't have argued with her assessment.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:15 PM
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16: Heebie is a much nicer person than me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:19 PM
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31

How could you have done good work & been unproductive ? Good work & lazy sounds like engineering praise.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:21 PM
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32

Good work and unproductive to me sounds like capable of turning out high quality work, not particularly interested or engaged in searching out that work.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:24 PM
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33

28, 29 sound like a fair description of my work habits too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:24 PM
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I suspect 28,29 -> many here among us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:25 PM
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31: It means I (repeatedly) took a month to get her something she thought I should have gotten her in a week, although she thought the work product I eventually got her was very good. It also means that she noticed I spent half of every day goofing around on the internet instead of working. (I didn't have a private office.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:26 PM
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36

Yeah, that sort of thing sounds very familiar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:28 PM
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28 was actually sort of to the OP. I was suggesting that heebie could have just told the student, "I can write a letter for you if you want, but it's going to say you're a lazy lying cheater." Who knows--he might still have asked! And that would be sort of a fun letter to write.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:30 PM
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Sorry, I wasn't paying attention. Did people start talking about me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:30 PM
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28: so I'm guessing they didn't actually check all the references

Based on the amount of calls I've gotten, vs. the number of people who have, to my certain knowledge, put me down as a reference, my expectation is that a prospective employer will only check any given reference ~2% of the time.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:51 PM
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The times I've been on a search committee, the dumbest task is calling people on the reference list, because urple notwithstanding, they all say "blah blah blah neatest person ever blah blah." On one occasion we called people off-list, because it was for the position of Provost, and that was much more interesting.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:56 PM
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Also 24-27 cracked me up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:57 PM
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42

and 19-21. The whole run.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:57 PM
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43

Do you think he believed you? That he left your office, thinking, "It's too bad she's so busy, because she would have written me an awesome recommendation!"

He asked me over email, and I let him down in kind.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 2:58 PM
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44

In a lot of companies, a reference is only called when the decision to hire is all but made.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:00 PM
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45

Also, here's his highly unsympathetic email:

Dr. Geebie
I was wondering if you could write me a letter of recommendation for [this] isd. im applying to be math teacher

As in, he did not bother to even sign his name.

(isd = independent school district)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:00 PM
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3: I actually did mention a student's attendance in a rec letter for med school. I had her in a college class that met 5 days/week, and she was the only student in the group -- all year -- who never once missed class; I thought that "showing up no matter what," even for something fairly trivial, seemed like a good trait in a future physician. I did go to some length to stress that I didn't mean it backhandedly, but it may still have been taken that way. (Hard to imagine that "letter from a grad student instructor" counted for much, though, especially with this girl's dossier. She ended up at a top-15 school.)


Posted by: lurkey | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:06 PM
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45: er, what are the odds of "[this] isd" turning him down, with or without your recommendation? Can they be trusted to do the right thing?


Posted by: lurkey | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:10 PM
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45: A math teacher?! He cheated in your class and he's looking for a recommendation because he wants to be a math teacher. Good for you to not response with "AHAHAHAHAHA!"


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:44 PM
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49

Cheating in a college class and asking for a recommendation? Has no one any shame?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 3:56 PM
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49: Only over how other people dress.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 4:34 PM
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er, what are the odds of "[this] isd" turning him down, with or without your recommendation? Can they be trusted to do the right thing?

Not necessarily. The hiring process of school teachers is a total mystery to me. Presumably he can find someone to give him a medium rec.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 4:43 PM
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He may not be a terrible teacher. Kids who cheat don't necessarily want to be teachers who get cheated on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 4:44 PM
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52: There's your recommendation right there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 4:51 PM
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2/3 of all people who've put me as references for security clearances have received them. (100% of those whose investigators contacted me). Laydeez.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 5:08 PM
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55

(the third is pending)


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 5:09 PM
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Heh. Everyone for whom I've written their personal statement/essay has gotten into the college we applied to. (I'm 4 for 4, I believe, not including me. It usually starts off as "editing help" and "would you mind taking a look at".) Laydeez.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 5:15 PM
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57

I think I just performed an autocockblock against spectacular odds. Dammit.

I should really post more on-topic comments here, too.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:18 PM
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58

56: wanna edit my book manuscript? It's pretty much done, on a topic of fair-to-middling interest, and could really use re-writing by someone more talented than I. I figure the worst that happens is you get me into college, right?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:22 PM
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Also, whatever Megan's answer, this is an open offer: any of you can re-write my book for me. I won't charge you a penny for the privilege.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:24 PM
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60

57.2: or, if not, more details.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:27 PM
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61

I dunno, VW. Have you won any porn for me recently?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:31 PM
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62

61 was me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:32 PM
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57: essear! Call her! Say, "That didn't go the way I'd have liked; can we have a do over?"

Or not, if that's wildly inappropriate to the situation. I'm just saying that it's worked for me (well, once), but it should be done immediately.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:33 PM
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64

I want to know how this went down.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:39 PM
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65

59: How about dividing it up amongst various unfogged commenters? I'll rewrite your conclusion.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:47 PM
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66

I'm anxious about avoiding a near-repeat of this (first paragraph). Enough to have pretended to be oblivious as she developed a series of flimsy excuses that eventually led up to asking me to "help her carry some things" to her apartment. There we talked for a while while I waited for her to make the first move, realized she wouldn't, and eventually awkwardly left.

Aside from breaking my no-romantic-entanglements-with-people-in-my-field rule, there's the worry that acting on this would develop into some kind of stressful long-distance relationship just as I'm about to move to a city with lots of fun people to meet. I don't know. parsimon's advice is tempting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:48 PM
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67

ESSEAR. Spill. Sheesh.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:49 PM
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68

58/59: You'd be surprised how tempting an offer that actually is. Someday I am going to find a way to make a living rewriting stuff for people, making it all pretty without contributing anything of substance myself...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:51 PM
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69

Of course, I also wrote this around the same time as the comment I linked in 66, and you see where that's gotten me...


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:54 PM
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66.2 -- take Parsi's advice, and ask to meet for coffee or a drink or something.

Don't worry about dating in your field -- where else are you gonna meet people? I mean aside from Adult Friend Finder, or building a comely robot ala Weird Science.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:57 PM
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68. Mrs y and I have long dreamed of setting up a business to rewrite/respell/repunctuate people's stuff. But experience teaches me that nobody cares any more if key documents are illiterately written, so maybe the business opportunity is passed.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:58 PM
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Oh man. The extended period of awkwardly waiting for someone to make the first move was the bulk of my last first-date. If the trains had still been running, he probably would have awkwardly left, too... Take parsimon's advice -- what do you have to lose?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:58 PM
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73

65: conclusion? Crap, I'd better get back to work.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 6:59 PM
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68: It's true. The copyeditor's life is utterly glamorous. You can work from home (as promised in those sexy emails from your spam box!), and your dental hygenist will tell you how cool it is that you can set your own schedule. All for nearly poverty level wages and no health benefits! Plus people will compliment your grammar all the time. So awesome.


Posted by: Molly | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:01 PM
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75

61-61: I think the more relevant question is, How much porn did you win before you knew me?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:01 PM
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66: I don't know. If you were waiting for her to make the first move, that means you've have accepted a first move? It comes down to how much you like her: medium, wishy/washy, could go one way or the other? Or kind of like her more than that?

You could call and act embarrassed (which I take it you are), say that you'd like to have a do-over, and/but the thing is ... and explain exactly what you said: you're moving shortly. So you're not sure what's best. See what she says.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:02 PM
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77

It really is good to make this call this evening, though, while it's still fresh in both your minds.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:03 PM
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78

And, yet, someday I dream of being able to subsist on poverty level wages and make people's words prettier...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:05 PM
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79

OK, now 76 is actually bad advice. Don't bother with all that explanation and defensive negotiation pre-move, just say something vague about how that didn't go quite right or make up a flimsy excuse to meet, and then start the heavy duty move-making.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:06 PM
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79: Yeah, call now, say that didn't go right, invite her for coffee or whatever and when you meet her on the street, without a word make that move. Then buy her some coffee.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:09 PM
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Eh, I think a not insignificant proportion of people like the straight-forward explanation of feelings, even if they display you as confused or otherwise, and I'm guessing that proportion is higher in academics. It's not terrible advice if that's the type of person she is.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:10 PM
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82

80 could really use some copyediting...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:10 PM
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79: I beg your pardon! Yeah, it's bad advice if essear isn't even sure if what he thinks was in the air was actually in the air. Otherwise, honesty can be refreshing, disarming even; it depends a lot on how easily they can talk together normally.

I was going with the idea that neither party wants to engage in the primary heavy duty move-making, so something mutual is needed, and pointing to the elephant in the room, and asking about it, is a way to break that ice.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:12 PM
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84

Eh, I'm with Halford. She'll be wildly charmed that you called tonight -- the explanations won't be needed now and can come later.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:12 PM
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85

At this rate the hive mind is going to get essear laid as efficiently as it did teo.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:13 PM
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86

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:15 PM
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87

I'm so on the fence that I somehow manage to agree with both parsimon and oudemia at the same time. I think I just reacted badly to the idea of "move making" in Halford's comment, but that's because moves have to be incredibly tacky before I'm ever going to notice them so I've got a knee-jerk resistance to them. With my track record, it's a wonder I ever found a decent partner.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:15 PM
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88

The best place to make a move is in the desert under a giant hat, essear. Suggest a trip.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:16 PM
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87: So you're saying he should invite her to go get ice cream instead of coffee? Good plan.

Hopefully esssear is missing all this because he's on his way to meet his special lady friend.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:17 PM
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and pointing to the elephant in the room, and asking about it, is a way to break that ice

"Oh, uh, that's my elephant. Do, uh. Okay. Uh. Goodnight?"


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:17 PM
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91

Damn. 89 to 86. And so endeth my copywriting aspirations...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:18 PM
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92

(87 is just to mean that I'm totally oblivious, which it sounds like essear kind of is, too.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:18 PM
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93

You guys are missing the point. The idea is for essear to do something sufficiently interesting and plot-advancing to give us a good story.

His own happiness is but a byproduct of our need for human connection and storytelling amidst political shenanigans and budget crises.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:20 PM
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85: Yes, this time remember that she likes sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist , World Peace, and French poetry. But don't force it! And no white chocolate.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:22 PM
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95

I am assuming, in order to advance the plot line, that essear is on the phone with the lady even as we plan his life for him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:23 PM
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96

Well, right, but no one wants to hear a nine-point plan on how the romance may or may not go before it gets started before it gets started. The "move" could be as simple as waiting for a nice pause in the conversation, making eye contact, and then saying "I'd like to kiss you." I'm not talking about the fake-yawn-in-the-movie-theater trick.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:24 PM
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I don't like the language of "making a move" to describe this process anymore. It makes it sound like you are trying to play a trick on someone.

My new theory (and I say this as someone who no longer has to play this game) is to think of it just in terms of how strongly to signal your interest. This is always hard, because no one is really sure how interested they are.

In this case, I think what is needed is an unmistakable, but not aggressive, signal of interest. As in saying, "I think I might want to be romantically involved with you, and I thought maybe when you asked me to help you carry some tings, you maybe were thinking the same thing."

Actually, one of the least painful rejections I've ever received came when I simply asked a woman out to lunch and told her I loved her, and didn't want to stop seeing her after college was over.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:27 PM
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98

I'm not talking about the fake-yawn-penis-in-the-popcorn-box-in-the-movie-theater trick


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:29 PM
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99

You can ask her if she's accepted pie as her personal savior.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:30 PM
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100

98 -> 97.1


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:30 PM
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101

This thread is very entertaining, if ambiguously helpful. I think I should wait a day or two before commenting more about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:30 PM
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96: I kinda do. But I am, admittedly, odd.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:31 PM
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103

if ambiguously helpful

You've got to fluff it a bit first before you put in the popcorn box.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:31 PM
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104

+it


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:32 PM
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105

I'm having trouble processing 97.last. That girl must have some breakup superpower.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:32 PM
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"I think I might want to be romantically involved with you, and I thought maybe when you asked me to help you carry some tings, you maybe were thinking the same thing."

I don't like this because it, again, involves pre-negotiating the romance before the romance happens, which is both a turnoff and kind of an impossibility. I'd say make the "move" (which, really, is just a physical, unambiguous expression of interest), see the reaction (i.e., you get kissed) and try to hang out in that zone for a while, like, for a few days, before negotiating your level of romantic involvement. If you fail, so be it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:32 PM
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There are clearly at least two different types of people in this thread. Those that want the penis in the popcorn box, and those that want to talk about it first.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:33 PM
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108

Sorry, essear. We totally wrecked it, didn't we. Uh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:34 PM
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109

Ok, it might be a little early for religion. Still, a non-field commonality is worth exploring.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:35 PM
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110

In this case, I think what is needed is an unmistakable, but not aggressive, signal of interest. As in saying, "I think I might want to be romantically involved with you, and I thought maybe when you asked me to help you carry some tings, you maybe were thinking the same thing."

That is certainly unmistakable, but perhaps a little too strong to work as a signal of interest. What's needed is a gesture: something subtle but unmistakable.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:38 PM
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I don't get the objections to 'move making'. Maybe we have different understandings of what this means, but in essear's context I understood as initiating something sexual, whether verbally or physically. How on earth do you actually have sex if someone doesn't do this? And 'I'd like to be romantically involved with you' doesn't qualify. (It's also I can't imagine saying, nor wanting to hear, before the relationship has turned physical.) I should admit that my favorite 'strategy' has generally been to wait for the woman to do something, which has often led to essear's problem. But when that something has happened it's generally been pretty unmistakable, as in a kiss or a 'are we gonna have sex already?' type verbal approach.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:39 PM
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That girl must have some breakup superpower.

I phrased it wrong. We were casual friends in college, and I picked the very end of senior year to try to change the relationship. Also, she'd been dating the same boy the whole time we were in college, but, Christ, what a moron.

Ok, the real reason it was an easy rejection is that it was a total Hail Mary pass that I didn't expect to work.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:49 PM
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There are clearly at least two different types of people in this thread. Those that want the penis in the popcorn box, and those that want to talk about it first.

It just seems like the biggest problems with sex, romance and gender politics all come from a lack of explicit, frank communication.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 7:54 PM
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114

I vote for explicit, frank communication.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:05 PM
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I'm completely with Halford in 106. And as he points out in 96, this doesn't even preclude the possibility of vocalizing the desire for kissing before you go in for the smooch.

Thing is, you're being very specific: a kiss. Not a "romantic involvement," necessarily.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:07 PM
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If Ogged were here we could have a 1000-comment thread as he trolled us all by setting up elaborately wrong ideas of what constitutes "frank."

Bottom line: Gauging what level of signal is going to be understood and appreciated is *itself* a skill, and depends highly on context, as this thread has already made clear.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:09 PM
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This is actually an issue I've been thinking about at a more abstract level, because I teach medical ethics over the summer.

The 21st century has seen a lot of conflicts between the values of privacy and transparency. We have a lot of prominent privacy activists, working to help individuals keep details of their lives secret. We also have a lot of transparency advocates, demanding that institutions reveal their secrets. These values fall into conflict because rules that affect individuals also impact institutions and vice versa.

I also have a general sense that the powerful should be more transparent, while the weak could use some more privacy.

In general in this conflict, though, I think we'd all be better off with more transparency. If the information could flow better, we could all see solutions to our differences.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:12 PM
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Well, shit, I shouldn't take things to such levels of abstraction.

Ask her for coffee, with no other pretext at all for the request other than the desire to be near her.

If you don't get any negative signals from at that point, ask her if she wants to find someplace private and spend the afternoon making out.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:16 PM
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I fail to see how that applies to would-be romantic/sexual encounters. People need to share more "information" about their desires?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:16 PM
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I teach medical ethics over the summer

I first read that as "medieval ethics".


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:17 PM
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117: Yeah, I think a lot about this too (from a different angle). To me the key is to tie the increase in transparency to stronger individual protections. One of the major reasons that people's [lives, safety, livelihood, health, child custody] gets endangered is that forced transparency/assymetric information affects poor and marginalized people differently than privileged people.

(Not always worse, interestingly -- there are a number of businesses I work with who never have to deal with negative product reviews on Yelp or such because there is absolutely zero overlap between their customer demographic and Yelp's user base.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:23 PM
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How on earth do you actually have sex if someone doesn't do this?

It's like you've forgotten where you're commenting or something.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:24 PM
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Oh, and my objection to "move making" as I clumsily stated above isn't really to the type of thing Halford is advocating. I automatically think of cheesy pick up artist type stuff when I hear the phrase "make a move."


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:25 PM
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119: Yeah. As in, this is what I want; tell me what you want, and we'll do something.

The contrast is generally: I want you to touch my penis, but I can't say that, so I'm just going to stick it in this popcorn bucket.

Putting it this way seems exaggerated, but it fits how a lot of people behave.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:27 PM
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THAT IS A REALLY UNIQUE NECKLACE YOU'RE WEARING, PAREN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MYSTERY | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:28 PM
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120: I actually wish I knew more about medieval ethics (also ethics in late antiquity.) There's a lot of stuff there about decision making in incredibly imperfect conditions, which is less thought about after modernity gives us a vision of scientific precision.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:31 PM
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||
As I predicted, the state is using the Norway massacre as a justification for clamping down on civil liberties for everyone, rather than actually addressing the problem of far right political violence: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15267792,00.html
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:40 PM
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People need to share more "information" about their desires?

It's all about interoperability.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:45 PM
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worry that acting on this would develop into some kind of stressful long-distance relationship just as I'm about to move to a city with lots of fun people to meet

This is a not a great approach. Unless you usually actually do end up in long-distance relationships that start this way or you usually do meet lots of fun people and end up in non-long distance relationships that way. Or unless you actually don't want to end up in a relationship at all.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 8:51 PM
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Good lord. Do I have to give a long rant about how making a move is work and it is a kind and generous thing to take that work on yourself? Perhaps this is the time to give my speech about how mature well-intentioned people are capable of managing their own damn feelings, and perhaps, by unilaterally rejecting her first, you are denying this woman a chance to say "Hmm. Given the option, I guess I would like some short-term sweetness and if that causes me some grief when you leave, well, that's why I have friends and ice cream and a shrink."

Further, she is baffled right now. She thought she understood your interest and she thought she made herself more clear than dignity could stand and it still didn't get her kissed. Right now, she is rehearsing the interaction and thinking, "what do I have to do to get kissed? What more could I do, besides invite him up to see my etchings? Jesus fucking Christ." She is also thinking that something is wrong with her (unless she is spectacularly self-confident) and wondering how she read you wrong, and where she went wrong in the afternoon. This is part of the cost of not being clear, the part that lingers much longer than not-kissing.

That is what she is thinking. You could still make it better by calling back and saying, "I think I was a moron this afternoon. May I come back and try it again?" Except don't do that if you're only going to back down again. She doesn't need additional confusion.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:09 PM
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130 may be written in the third person, but its knowledge of the situation makes it clear that Essear just left Megan's house.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:12 PM
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He was like "Etchings? I dunno. I've never really liked etchings. Maybe I'll take a rain check. BYE!" [smoldering glance, caress cheek. DEPART]


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:16 PM
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126: From Essear's dating dilemma to the potential value of Thomistic philosophy? I guess I must have missed a step (or two).

117 is very interesting, but I can't see how it applies to sexual/romantic situations. Total transparency in intersubjective relations should not be the goal, I think. Too exhausting.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:21 PM
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[smoldering glance, caress cheek. DEPART]

It's scenes like these that will transform my book, Megan.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:26 PM
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Maybe if I were inspired by some newly won porn, VW.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:27 PM
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134: You're writing about the 19th century, right? I've always wondered if the more popular, narrative historians of that century spend a great deal of time staring at painted and black and white photo portraits. So many steely gray eyes and steady stares.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:37 PM
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For God's sake, if it is Megan, go ahead with the pie thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 9:50 PM
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Or you could throw her couch off the roof!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 10:10 PM
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|| I'd like to get jury duty.|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 10:12 PM
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139: Mug shot.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 10:32 PM
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Yeah, I saw that after I posted. And that he's wanted in Florida. Happy to let either Oregon or Florida put him up for a while. Not feeling as vengeful after all . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 10:38 PM
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"I think I might want to be romantically involved with you, and I thought maybe when you asked me to help you carry some things, you maybe were thinking the same thing."

I think someone may have been watching a little too much daytime television recently.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07-26-11 11:56 PM
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142. I was irresistably reminded of this.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 12:22 AM
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||
Just awoke from an awfully good narrative dream where the death of an aged relative -- a Lutheran theologian -- had involved my extended family in the race to stop a group of fanatical, European neo-monarchist absolutists from bringing about a series of putsches that would undermine the various constitutional monarchies. Our task, of course, was to help Queen Margrethe defend Denmark, but it looked like King Juan Carlos would be getting mixed up in it too when I woke up.
Ripped from today's headlines!
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 12:33 AM
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As I predicted, the state is using the Norway massacre as a justification for clamping down on civil liberties for everyone

Those are all different (non-Norway) states, Natilo.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 1:23 AM
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The state is the state is the state.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 1:28 AM
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Sugar.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 1:29 AM
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No, sugar is a complex carbohydrate; the state consists of special bodies of armed men having prisons, etc., at their command. If you put the state in your tea it tastes bad.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 1:54 AM
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Hans-Peter Uhl, on the other hand, isn't the state. The (German) state actually disagrees with Hans-Peter Uhl. So does the (Finnish) state. This is weak stuff.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 1:57 AM
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149: Huh, that's funny. I thought for sure you were going to say "Shite".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 2:08 AM
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Well, "Shite" might be a bit strong; "assertion not entirely supported by data" is probably closer.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 2:27 AM
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The State is available on Netflix, though sadly not for instant streaming.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 5:59 AM
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I got an emergency phone call this morning from a friend in the US. He said he was in the District of Columbia but he sounded like he was in a bit of a state.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 6:24 AM
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but he sounded like he was in a bit of a state.

Are you sure he wasn't calling from the">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kentucky_Bend">the New Madrid Bend?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 6:30 AM
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30 and 16: I'm not sure that that is good. Maybe it's "nice," but if you said, "I really can't based on your work performance," it might get through some of his denial.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 6:45 AM
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I've spent all morning thinking about lemons, grapefruits and limes. I'm in an Orange Free State of mind.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 6:53 AM
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Orange you glad I didn't say banana republic?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-27-11 7:17 AM
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Let me just belatedly say that my little misadventure above seems to be working out pretty well, although we still haven't fully confronted what to do in light of my imminent move.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 12:56 PM
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Woo, hook 'em, awkwardness paying off!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 12:58 PM
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It took me a moment to realize that "imminent move" didn't mean you were liveblogging.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 1:20 PM
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Ha!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 1:34 PM
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although we still haven't fully confronted what to do in light of my imminent move.

Probably, lots of monkey sex will help you figure it out.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 1:36 PM
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Probably, lots of monkey sex will help you figure it out

And if it doesn't, well, your only loss is a few psychologically damaged monkeys.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 1:40 PM
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Who made the move after the impasse in 66?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 1:44 PM
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164: I did.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 6:42 PM
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Oh Yeah. High fives or fistbumps all around, community.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 6:47 PM
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It's interesting to read one of these threads without being the subject of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 6:59 PM
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Excellent! Congratulations, essear and lady!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-29-11 7:06 PM
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